Disclosure: As a member of the Forward Influence Network, this conversation is sponsored by Google. All opinions are based on my personal experiences.
As October is officially here, so begins the National Bullying Prevention Month. As a parent, bullying hits home and many know I am a strong advocate in protecting our children.
As Aubrey brought home her chromebook for the first time, cyber bullying becomes a whole new dimension as a parent. My children know, if at any time they are being bullied or harassed, it’s important to tell me or another adult so we can put a stop to it. It’s scary to realize the only 20-30% of students actually tell an adult. It’s important to make our internet usage a safe place as well and why my family is being a part of Be Internet Awesome‘s It’s Cool to Be Kind challenge!
It is important to follow the same “golden rule” online that we do offline. While we aren’t face to face with individuals, what messages we share have an impact behind that keyboard. Stick up for others, report something hurtful, or find an adult you trust to get help. We all have more power to help than we realize!
Be Internet Awesome is Google’s free multifaceted program made to teach kids the importance of being a positive digital citizen and online safety to explore the online world with confidence.
Five Areas of Internet Awesomeness include:
• SMART: Communicate responsibly online
• ALERT: Identify phishing, scams, and non-credible sources online
• STRONG: Protect your personal information
• KIND: Be kind and positive online
• BRAVE: When in doubt about anything online, talk it out with an adult
I am probably a parent that would be considered stricter when it comes to the internet and bullying because I want them all to be safe. A rule I always stress is to never say anything online you wouldn’t want a parent or teacher to see. Never be afraid to ask for help or if something doesn’t seem right, ask. As our school has a buddy bench on the playground, I tell my kids to make sure if they see someone sitting on the bench, go see if they want to play with you. Be Internet Awesome features a great Family Guide to help have conversations with our kids and you can even play Interland to test those kindness skills 😉
Lead by Example
I am challenging all of you to take the #ItsCoolToBeKindChallenge and show your kids they can do random acts of kindness, online and offline. For this challenge, you can do a random act of kindness online by yourself or with your kids. Once done, challenge 3 (or more!) to do another act of kindness online within 48 hours!
Examples of Online Acts of Kindness
- Post a positive comment on a friend’s picture or video.
- Be an upstander and report negative behavior.
- Send a positive message to a friend.
- Spread kindness online with Kind Kingdom.
Life can get busy, we all know this. An act of kindness only takes a few minutes of your day and might be the smile someone needs. I sat down for five minutes and made comments on Instagram pictures, something I haven’t done in a few.
Learn more about Google’s Be Internet Awesome campaign by following along on social media!